London Assembly candidate for Bexley & Bromley, councillor Peter Fortune, has welcomed the announcement that police ranks in the Metropolitan Police have been bolstered with an additional 714 officers since the government launched its major recruitment drive in September 2019.
Across England and Wales more than 3,000 extra officers have joined the police since the recruitment campaign was launched, confirming the government is on track to recruit 20,000 extra officers over the next three years.
In total, forces recruited 6,435 officers from November 2019 to March 2020, including recruitment planned before the government campaign was announced – with 3,005 recruits joining the police specifically as part of the uplift programme.
There are now a total of 32,799 officers in the Metropolitan Police, with 131,596 across England and Wales.
The recruitment drive is at the centre of the government’s commitment to back the police with more resources, powers and support to keep communities safe.
Other steps include the biggest funding boost for the policing system in a decade, a new covenant to recognise the service and sacrifice of the police, funding to provide over 8,000 more officers with Taser to keep themselves and the public safe, expanded stop and search powers, and plans to consult on increasing the maximum sentence for assaulting police officers and other emergency service workers.
Alongside new recruits, the government has also taken further action to support the police’s coronavirus response.
This includes testing for all essential workers, including police officers and support staff; the relaxation of tax rules to encourage officers nearing retirement and those recently retired to serve; and the unlocking of £84 million for forces to use in fight against coronavirus.
Commenting, Peter said:
“I am delighted that because of actions taken by the Conservative government, the Metropolitan Police has been boosted by 714 more officers – meaning more police on our streets to cut crime and keep us all safe.
“At this time of national emergency, these additional officers have never been so important. They have my full support in enforcing the rules to ensure people stay at home, so we can protect the NHS and save lives.
“By backing our police with the funding and resources they need, we will keep the public and our communities safe, so that people everywhere can live their lives free from the fear of crime.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“Each one of these brave officers will make a difference in helping to cut crime and keep people safe. For many, their first role has been to join the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.
“Thanks to new digital assessment centres, the doors remain wide open for anyone who wants to join them and make a difference in their community.
“Getting more police officers on the streets is an absolute priority for the British people – and this Government.”